Publication details

Květy Rajské zahrady. Rostlinné motivy v dílech islámského umění ze sbírek Národní galerie v Praze

Title in English Blossoms of the Paradise Garden. Floral motifs in the Islamic art from the collections of the National Gallery in Prague


Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Nový Orient
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Art, architecture, cultural heritage
Keywords Islamic art; National Gallery in Prague; floral motifs; arabesque; rose and nightingale; Paradise
Description In the Islamic cultural region the common and significant function of the floral decoration is the evocation of Paradise, rather than a specific symbolism of particular kinds of plants. The beauty of depicted plants represents the beauty of the Quranic gardens of Paradise. The frequency of floral motifs in Islamic ornamentation is intensified by the restraint in the use of illustration of living beings. Muslim artists are inspired by the plenitude of floral kingdom, while electing different level of stylization, abstraction or naturalism. Besides the late-antique and Byzantine influence, which was determining during the formative period of Islamic plant decoration, the later absorption of Chinese floral motifs is also essential. The rose and nightingale is an especially popular decorative theme of the Persian art between 17th and 19th centuries.
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